Folic acid is the man-made form of folate. Folate is a B-vitamin naturally found in some foods. It is needed to form healthy cells, especially red blood cells.Folic acid supplements may come in different forms (such as L-methylfolate, levomefolate, methyltetrahydrofolate). They are used to treat or prevent low folate levels. Low folate levels can lead to certain types of anemia. Conditions that can cause low folate levels include poor diet, pregnancy, alcoholism, liver disease, certain stomach/intestinal problems, kidney dialysis, among others. Women of childbearing age should receive adequate amounts of folic acid either through their diet or supplements to prevent infant spinal cord birth defects.
If your condition lasts or gets worse, or if you think you may have a serious medical problem, get medical help right away. Side Effects Folic acid usually has very few side effects. If you have any unusual effects from taking this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Folic acid is safe to take during pregnancy when used as directed. It is included in prenatal vitamin products. Certain spinal cord birth defects may be prevented by taking adequate amounts of folic acid during pregnancy. Consult your doctor for more details.
Folic acid passes into breast milk but is unlikely to harm a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding. Interactions Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval. Does Folic Acid interact with other drugs you are taking? Enter your medication into the WebMD interaction checker Check Interaction Overdose If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: mental/mood changes. Notes Do not share this medication with others.
Folate is naturally found in leafy green vegetables, organ meats (liver, kidney), citrus fruits, and other foods. Folic acid is added to enriched grain products such as bread, pasta, and cereal. Consult your doctor or dietician for a diet plan rich in folate/folic acid. Missed Dose If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up. Storage Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company. Images folic acid 400 mcg tablet
Methotrexate is a medicine that is commonly prescribed for people with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, or cancer, and it can lower levels of folate (a B vitamin) in your body. You should take folic acid with methotrexate to help prevent a folate deficiency. A folate deficiency can lead to symptoms like tiredness, muscle weakness, mouth sores, and neurological symptoms.
Folic acid is sometimes used with other medications to treat pernicious anemia. Folic acid used alone will not treat pernicious anemia and other anemias not related to Vitamin B12 deficiency. Take all of your medications as directed.
Before you take folic acid, tell your doctor if you have kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis), an infection, if you are an alcoholic, or if you have any type of anemia that has not been diagnosed by a doctor and confirmed with laboratory testing.
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to folic acid: hives, rash, itching, skin redness; wheezing, difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with folic acid, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.
Methotrexate is a medicine that is commonly prescribed for people with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, or cancer, and it can lower levels of folate (a B vitamin) in your body. You should take folic acid with methotrexate to help prevent a folate deficiency. A folate deficiency can lead to symptoms like tiredness, muscle weakness, mouth sores, and neurological symptoms. Continue reading
In man, an exogenous source of folate is required for nucleoprotein synthesis and the maintenance of normal erythropoiesis. Folic acid is the precursor of tetrahydrofolic acid, which is involved as a cofactor for transformylation reactions in the biosynthesis of purines and thymidylates of nucleic acids. Impairment of thymidylate synthesis in patients with folic acid deficiency is thought to account for the defective deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) synthesis that leads to megaloblast formation and megaloblastic and macrocytic anemias.
Folic acid is absorbed rapidly from the small intestine, primarily from the proximal portion. Naturally occurring conjugated folates are reduced enzymatically to folic acid in the gastrointestinal tract prior to absorption. Folic acid appears in the plasma approximately 15 to 30 minutes after an oral dose; peak levels are generally reached within 1 hour. After intravenous administration, the drug is rapidly cleared from the plasma. Cerebrospinal fluid levels of folic acid are several times greater than serum levels of the drug. Folic acid is metabolized in the liver to 7,8-dihydrofolic acid and eventually to 5,6,7,8-tetrahydrofolic acid with the aid of reduced diphosphopyridine nucleotide (DPNH) and folate reductases. Tetrahydrofolic acid is linked in the N5 or N10 positions with formyl, hydroxymethyl, methyl, or formimino groups. N5-formyltetrahydrofolic acid is leucovorin. Tetrahydrofolic acid derivatives are distributed to all body tissues but are stored primarily in the liver. Normal serum levels of total folate have been reported to be 5 to 15 ng/mL; normal cerebrospinal fluid levels are approximately 16 to 21 ng/mL. Normal erythrocyte folate levels have been reported to range from 175 to 316 ng/mL. In general, folate serum levels below 5 ng/mL indicate folate deficiency, and levels below 2 ng/mL usually result in megaloblastic anemia.
After a single oral dose of 100 mcg of folic acid in a limited number of normal adults, only a trace amount of the drug appeared in the urine. An oral dose of 5 mg in 1 study and a dose of 40 mcg/kg of body weight in another study resulted in approximately 50% of the dose appearing in the urine. After a single oral dose of 15 mg, up to 90% of the dose was recovered in the urine. A majority of the metabolic products appeared in the urine after 6 hours; excretion was generally complete within 24 hours. Small amounts of orally administered folic acid have also been recovered in the feces. Folic acid is also excreted in the milk of lactating mothers.
There is a potential danger in administering folic acid to patients with undiagnosed anemia, since folic acid may obscure the diagnosis of pernicious anemia by alleviating the hematologic manifestations of the disease while allowing the neurologic complications to progress. This may result in severe nervous system damage before the correct diagnosis is made. Adequate doses of vitamin B12 may prevent, halt, or improve the neurologic changes caused by pernicious anemia.
Folate deficiency may result from increased loss of folate, as in renal dialysis and/or interference with metabolism (e.g., folic acid antagonists such as methotrexate); the administration of anticonvulsants, such as diphenylhydantoin, primidone, and barbiturates; alcohol consumption and, especially, alcoholic cirrhosis; and the administration of pyrimethamine and nitrofurantoin.
Folic acid is usually indicated in the treatment of megaloblastic anemias of pregnancy. Folic acid requirements are markedly increased during pregnancy, and deficiency will result in fetal damage (see INDICATIONS AND USAGE).
Studies in pregnant women have not shown that folic acid increases the risk of fetal abnormalities if administered during pregnancy. If the drug is used during pregnancy, the possibility of fetal harm appears remote. Because studies cannot rule out the possibility of harm, however, folic acid should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed.
Folic acid is relatively nontoxic in man. Rare instances of allergic responses to folic acid preparations have been reported and have included erythema, skin rash, itching, general malaise, and respiratory difficulty due to bronchospasm. One patient experienced symptoms suggesting anaphylaxis following injection of the drug. Gastrointestinal side effects, including anorexia, nausea, abdominal distention, flatulence, and a bitter or bad taste, have been reported in patients receiving 15 mg folic acid daily for 1 month. Other side effects reported in patients receiving 15 mg daily include altered sleep patterns, difficulty in concentrating, irritability, overactivity, excitement, mental depression, confusion, and impaired judgment. Decreased vitamin B12 serum levels may occur in patients receiving prolonged folic acid therapy. In an uncontrolled study, orally administered folic acid was reported to increase the incidence of seizures in some epileptic patients receiving phenobarbital, primidone, or diphenylhydantoin. Another investigator reported decreased diphenylhydantoin serum levels in folate-deficient patients receiving diphenylhydantoin who were treated with 5 mg or 15 mg of folic acid daily. 781b155fdc